For many Americans, their first conscious experience of jihad—Islam’s war against unbelievers—was the sight of two planes flying into the Twin Towers.
Yet since virtually the beginning of our country, America has been at war with jihad. It was an issue America’s Founding Fathers struggled with—how their new, fledgling democracy that allowed exercise of religious freedom could exist in harmony with states embracing a philosophy that called for war against countries that had done them no wrong.
Get the July issue of Townhall Magazine to read the full story "Forever Fighting Jihad" by Townhall Deputy Managing Editor Elisabeth Meinecke. Here's an excerpt:
"It is, in fact, partly thanks to the jihad waged by these North African states that the United States revitalized its Navy and the Marine Corps.
Both branches trace their founding back to 1775, but there was a decided tapering off of forces—in fact, according to [writer Michael A.] Palmer, the United States sold the last ship of its Navy soon after the Revolutionary War ended. But renewed attacks by the Barbary states, along with visions of being a valuable asset should Britain and France make war in the seas, led to provision for a Navy in the U.S. Constitution."
"What made the Barbary pirates different from common plunderers who just happened to be good at their job?
We know they were unusual thanks to the documented curiosity and foresight of the Founding Fathers. When Jefferson and Adams, serving as the ambassadors to France and England, respectively, met with the ambassador of Tripoli in 1786, the two Americans weren’t just content to talk dollars and cents. They wanted to know what reasoning, what philosophy was behind this motivation to attack “nations who had done them no injury.” So they asked."